SEO for Doctors: A Complete Guide
Did you know that 77% of people begin their patient journey with a Google search? The search engine handles 70,000 healthcare-related searches every minute. It may be the most influential tool when people choose which doctor to trust with their medical care.
SEO for doctors is important because that’s what Google relies on to determine where your websites and social media profiles should fall in the search engine results pages. Well-maintained SEO is an affordable marketing method that can work for you for years to come.
What Is SEO for Doctors?
SEO for doctors is an essential part of creating and optimizing the online presence of healthcare facilities. It uses a variety of methods, such as content creation and keyword usage, to ensure doctor’s sites rank highly in search engines in order to attract new visitors and turn them into patients or customers.
Healthcare SEO can cover a broad range of tactics, but specific implementation depends on the type of medical facility. The staff at a local hospital won’t take the same approach to optimization as the staff at a medical equipment facility, for example.
How Is SEO Used in Healthcare?
SEO for medical practices means climbing the ranks of Google’s search engine results pages, which shows prospective patients that your facility is reputable and trustworthy. When visitors find relevant information on your website, they are more likely to choose you as their doctor.
Excellent SEO implementation also helps you compete with larger healthcare businesses in your area. People who find, use, and like your services are also more likely to leave positive online reviews. This is important because more than 70% of people use online reviews to help them choose medical providers.
How Do You Create Your SEO Strategy for Doctors?
Follow these best practices to implement SEO and online marketing for your clinic or healthcare facility.
Set Up a Google Business Profile for Your Medical Practice
The first thing you can do to optimize your online presence is free! Signing up for a Google Business Profile makes your practice a priority on local search results, provides relevant and correct information about it, and paints you as an authority in your field. It also improves SEO and increases your chance of receiving online reviews. Sign up by visiting Google Business.
Research Keywords Relevant to Your Practice-Area
Keywords are one of the main components of SEO for doctors. Research helps you identify and evaluate the phrases prospective patients are Googling. This way, you can choose which ones best meet your needs and incorporate them into your content.
There are several types of keywords:
- Broad Keywords – These are root terms of one or two words. These keywords bring in the most traffic but are also the most competitive.
- Long-Tail Keywords – These are more specific terms of at least three words, often including a geographic location. These are very common as local SEO for doctors, since many people search for medical practices near them that accept their insurance. These words have less traffic but tend to have a higher conversion rate since they’re so specific.
Brand Keywords – In healthcare, your name is your brand. Brand keywords mean the searcher already knows who you are and is searching for your name or the name of your practice. Pages with these search terms often appear high on search results pages.
Expert SEO Help for Doctors
The most efficient approach to SEO for a medical practice is to rely on the pros! At BKA Content we save your time while providing top-quality content and strategy to get you ranking on Google.
Begin keyword research with a brainstorming session. Create a profile of your ideal patient and think about what words they may use to try to find your services. Then, find your competitors on Google’s search results pages and determine which keywords they’re using. Use the information you find to decide which keywords you want to rank for.
Remember that keyword research is an ongoing process. You’ll need to update yours periodically to remain at the top of your game.
Optimize Your HTML Tags
HTML tags provide a visual and technical structure that makes it easier for people to read your website and for Google to crawl it. Inserting your keywords and using proper coding ensures this happens. The H1 tag is your main title, so include your main keyword in it. Use H2 subheadings to break up the content on your page and include additional keywords in them.
Your meta description tags and alt tags are also important. The meta description is a concise summary of what’s on the page and includes your main keyword. Alt tags describe the images on your page and contain keywords related to them. They make it easier for Google to understand what’s on your medical website.
Create Internal and External Links To Relevant Medical Content
Internal links are vital for helping prospective patients navigate your website. Creating internal links also improves SEO since it helps Google crawl your website more thoroughly.
First, establish your site’s architecture. A medical practice’s home page should include links to two to three subpages. Those pages should then have their own subpages as needed. This forms a well-organized pyramid of important pages.
Internal links outside of the navigation are important, too. One of the easiest ways to create these is to link from one blog post or piece of content to another within its text. For example, you might write a blog about a broad topic and then link to another blog that goes more in-depth about a particular part of the topic.
In addition to internal linking, backlinks (links to your website from other websites) are vital for building authority and climbing search engine rankings. There are many approaches doctors can take to build links on their site. However, the most important part of the process is creating resourceful content that people truly want to link back to. The more helpful your website is, the more likely it is that you’ll receive backlinks.
Many doctors and other medical professionals also gain backlinks by guest posting. Medical websites always need up-to-date content. If new treatments, technologies or other interesting information becomes available, write about it and submit your post to other websites. Just remember to include a link back to your own site within the post.
Build a Better Medical Blog
The medical world is ever-changing, and you can use that to your advantage. As a knowledgeable doctor, blogging is a great opportunity to prove yourself to be an expert in your industry by providing readers with information about medical conditions, treatment options, trends in the healthcare field, and other cutting-edge topics.
Creating high-quality blog posts calls for organized content, proper use of keywords and HTML, and relevant internal and external links. Linking to outside sources shows readers you’ve done your research and builds your reputation. Remember, blogging is an ongoing process. The best blogs add new content two to three times per week and update old content as needed to keep posts relevant.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Even the American Medical Association praises the use of social media by medical practitioners. It believes social media is important for building your brand, connecting with prospective or current patients, providing reputable information, and publicizing research.
Each social media platform has its benefits. Use LinkedIn to show off your achievements as a doctor in your field and to connect with other people who work in the healthcare industry. Create a Facebook page to provide information by linking to new blog posts on your website or sharing medical news stories. TikTok can be an excellent choice for a platform to educate via video format. Regardless of which platforms you use, remember to utilize relevant keywords and include visuals appropriate for the site.
Audit Your Medical Website Often
SEO for doctors is an ongoing process. Information changes and needs updating, and trending keywords change, requiring you to remove old ones and add new ones.
Successful SEO means regular website audits. Focus on improving accessibility and boosting engagement. There are two types of audits:
- Qualitative – These audits focus on specific content and their relevancy toward your established goals. For example, a qualitative SEO audit requires you to update keywords, change HTML tags, and remove broken links.
- Quantitative – These audits are comprehensive. They look through your entire website to ensure accessibility, determine popularity, and update page features.
Keep four goals in mind as you audit your website: consolidate, improve, keep, and remove. If you have content that’s too full of fluff and filler, consider whether you can consolidate it and add it to other content to create a better-performing piece. Sometimes content is valuable and well-written but isn’t performing well. In this case, you can improve it by adding better visuals, adding metadata and header tags, updating keywords, and creating a better call to action.
Some content is for keeping. Naturally, you don’t need to do anything to a piece that is SEO-compliant and performing well.
Finally, remove content that doesn’t get enough traffic or offer value. Remember to use 301 redirects for deleted content to keep viewers from seeing errors.
Contact Us for High-Performing SEO for Doctors
You’re a busy professional in a demanding field. Chances are you don’t have the time to maintain your SEO strategy regularly. Luckily, you don’t need to do it all alone.
BKA Content works behind the scenes to provide high-ranking SEO services for doctors while you stay on the frontlines of your field. Whether you need us to write regular blog posts with trending keywords or to develop a strong backlink campaign, we have you covered. Get in touch with us today to create your customized plan.
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